CONROE, Texas -- Twenty-seven men who reportedly thought they were going to meet children for sex are now facing criminal charges..
Authorities in Montgomery County say the men were stalking the internet for kids but found undercover officers instead.
Authorities tell us the men arrested knew they were speaking with someone under age and set up meetings for sex in Montgomery County.
The investigation took two months and started back in October. The men are being charged with felony online solicitation of a minor.
Detectives say the men believed they were going to meet a minor and traveled into the county for that purpose.
Once the suspects arrived at pre-arranged meeting places, they were arrested by Montgomery County sheriff's deputies.
Some of these suspects also face charges of possession of child pornography and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child. While not all of these suspects live in Montgomery County, authorities say all the men came here for what they thought was going to be a meeting with a child.
"The key here in these types of investigations is the steps they take to go and meet what they believe to be is a minor child, ages, 13, 15 is typical of what they think they are going to meet," said Montgomery County Chief Prosecutor Tyler Dunman.
An undercover investigator with the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children task force said their work is never done.
"Someone has to do this," he said, "And it's very rewarding when a child sexual predator receives a significant prison sentence. At least that's one child that that person may not be able to get their hands on."
This investigator cannot be named because he does undercover work within his law enforcement agency.
Nikki Neeley is an investigator within the district attorney's office. She, too, worked hard on this sting. She said their work is never done.
"It's real easy to get consumed with, you know," Neeley said, "This is someone that's wanting to prey upon a child, and so you think of your children, you just kind of continue to focus on trying to get the individual."
One of the individuals in this sting operation is 38-year-old Jeremiah Busby. He is a pastor in Houston and runs a ministry called "PhoenX," according to his Facebook page.
For now, Busby is behind bars, charged with solicitation of a minor.
It turns out some of the suspects are already on the state's sex offender registry and others have criminal backgrounds as well. If convicted, they could face between 2 to 20 years behind bars.
Texas online sting nets 27 arrests of men allegedly seeking sex with children
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